Breaking new ground, eros in creation
Meditation with western red alder
Enjoy this grounding 10 minute meditation inspired by western red alder
Sitting with one of my favorite trees (hush don’t tell the others) by the river. And it’s no coincidence that we find this tree here! Alder is a lover of the flow, that place of intersection between land and water. One of the more dynamic folk in the tree realm Western Red Alder creates earth and holds it in and down and creates boundaries between earth and water. And then there’s the red. Soak alder leaves or scratch beneath the bark and a blood red color will emerge, the fire in the landscape, the blood of the land. And thats how we remember it for medicinal purposes - fire and water medicine that works with blood.
So much can be learnt by looking at our medicine with-in its landscape. This is foremost how I begin to understand the inherent intelligence of a plant. I don’t tend to class other than human as incapable of life and all that goes with being alive, consciousness, understanding. I see plants as much as a being as ourselves and when seeking connection, when learning how to communicate with these beings that don’t think in language it helps to look at who they are in their environment and what they do. For example, I know that a plant that has thousand of years of phytochemical experience with dealing with a damp wet environment will be able to transfer that knowledge to my body, so will probably be a good one to use when my lungs are congested.
Looking at alder I can see that it knows how to work with water and earth. It’s a short lived tree that is falling and building upon itself. It is opportunistic, with good reason, it can emerge into hostile landscapes like parking lots and ravaged places devoid of life and start to breeth vitality back into the earth, shooting up many suckers from the mother and breaking through the most inhospitable of ecosystems.
As it digs into the ground and reaches up out it creates fertile earth, transforming the sunshine into compost and fixing nitrogen, creating an environment where the fungi and mycorrhiza can start to build soil and therefore opportunity for other plants and then animals to become in what was once barren. It brings in life, it is the fire that invigorates the ennert.
Alder will also shape the earth, building up boundaries between the landscape and the runoff, channeling and shaping streams and creeks. Alder creates territory. Creates fertile ground and brings back movement to a dead, atrophied or stagnant system.
Alder loves to dip its feet into cool streams and if submersed the wood becomes harder for it. It is the medicine of the river, working with the flow of fluids in waterways, supporting the ecology every step of the way until it is established, until the cedars and firs and oaks have become old enough to take over. Then Alder will progressively march to the edges, to break new ground where there is none, and leave behind a flourishing established healthy divine eco system.
So what is the inherent intelligence of this vital tree? Well it knows how to establish a healthy and vital eco system and this is the way we use it in our body as a lymphatic and alterative, working with our immune ecology, to bring it into balance, clearing pathways while supporting our metabolism so we can effectively process and sort what is waste and what is nutritious.
I use Alder to help folks who are prone to sickness, slow in healing and have sluggish function, including sludgy blood so it has been a great ally for me with covid and vaccine injured folks. I use to prevent wound infection and it is a great anti microbial, knowing deeply as it does about emerging biome and micro ecology, even for the prevention and early treatment of sepsis although I don’t advise this to people at home unless you have experience.
For a long read and a deeper dive into the medicine of alder I have a zine to be taken in with the tincture that I make every year and is available for purchase by emailing me at email@example.com
For a great review of the medicine I recommend Kiva Rose and her write up:
And keep an eye on this space folks I am thinking about offerings for the next year, how to be on hand and how to grow community and empower us to use this incredible medicine from the earth for the people.